I love planners, but never seem to be able to get right in there and use one for its purpose. I have come across some great planners that cater more to my professional life; planners that are everything homeschool and planners that are, well, just planners. There have been some good ones and some not so good ones. What I usually end up doing is reverting to my computer and my homemade planner that is simple and suits my needs. It does not mean I do not keep my eyes open for something else that will work for me.
Homeschool mom and author Debra Bell created The Ultimate Homeschool Planner. She knows homeschool moms and has come up with three different designs in blue, orange and yellow to appeal to the moms that would be using the planner. Moms like choices too!
You can tell a lot of thought went into the creation of the planner. The Ultimate Planner is one with a purpose. There are more than 300 pages for you as a teacher and nurturer of your child to plan your day-to-day and future, bringing a sense of order.
I love planning, but I have trouble planning. It does not matter if it is the one and two or more years away or just the day-to-day. There is so much to do. Where do I start first? What really needs my attention? Who really needs my help? Those are just some of the questions that run through my mind. Bell understands the concerns of a homeschool mom and has made it easy for you to jump in and start using the planner. The goals of the planner are to help you as a homeschool teacher and to “teach you student to be an independent learner.” Both of those are big tasks.
I received the blue planner, which allowed me to plan the 52-week future of my family. The planner is a new product for Apologia and it is ready to go with calendars at the beginning starting in 2015-2016, going through 2022-2023. Goodness. Who can even think that far? I will have two homeschool graduates by that time.
The planner even comes with specific instructions on how to use it. It is not just a fill in the blank item. I took the 30 minutes of time (actually more) suggested to think about my plans for the upcoming week. I have done this in the past, but the planning part has usually been in my head and while I am involved in doing something else. Committing, at least 30 minutes of dedicated thought, enabled me to see my week and make better plans when I started writing in the planner. You may read more about the description of its contents.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner considers the heart of the family and not just the systematic and academic progression of the home. Creating a God-centered lifestyle is promoted through the planner. Making God first in everything, even the daily planning, is encouraged to help create a peaceful environment.
Some of the features I like about the planner are the visual examples on how to complete your schedule. Yes, I need instructions on how to figure out what I need to do. Another thing I like were the suggestions on how to lead your child to more independence; the “Monday Morning Tutorials” and “Friday Afternoon Reviews”. I had already incorporated tutorial times on Sundays with each of my children, so they would know what is expected of them for the upcoming week. We go over their schedule and they are able to ask any questions before their week begins. The other suggestion is the review time with each child that is suggested for the end of the week. Follow-up is where I usually “drop the ball.” Now, because of the planner, I started taking the time with my children and it is a wonderful experience. I was able to see where they were and better plan for their continued work. They were more inclined to complete their work well knowing I would be “meeting” with them to discuss their progress. Although we do talk daily about their work, we were able to come together and discuss possible plans for school the following week. I considered the comments they shared during these discussions for when I sat to plan our new week. Bell also has planners for teens.
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner is another quality product from Apologia, and I am not surprised. If you are looking for a planner for now or the New Year, you may want to consider this one.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Ultimate Homeschool Planner – Blue Cover is available for $29.
You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members.